Poignant drama and twisted tales at Crawley’s Hawth this autumn

Pals. Picture by Thom Axon
Pals. Picture by Thom Axon

The Hawth Studio in Crawley is being promised as the “place where anything can happen” this autumn.

Spokeswoman Lorraine McGregor said: “Come along this season and be transported to the 17th century or to the outbreak of war in 1914, meet monsters and ghosts and see great literary figures brought to life.

“On Wednesday, October 3, Owdyado Theatre present Twisted Tales, an hilariously-dark triple-bill of riotous comedies that reveal the darkness under the domestic, the lengths people will go to for love and how to wash blood stains out of a carpet. These three twisted tales from three distinct voices are inspired by cult TV series The Twilight Zone and Inside Number Nine.

“Rumpus Theatre Company return to The Hawth Studio on October 30 with The Devil’s Bride, a fiendish new play based on the chilling story by classic Victorian Gothic horror author Sheridan Le Fanu. Aspiring 17th-century painter Godfried Schalken seeks an apprenticeship with famous artist Gerard Douw and falls in love with Douw’s niece Rose. But Douw achieved his fame by making a pact with the Devil, and when Gerard attempts to wed Rose, his evil rival returns to claim his wicked prize. The perfect Gothic Horror treat as evenings draw in.

“Inspired by real war diaries, Pals is an amusing and touching piece of theatre set during the first years of the Great War and comes to The Hawth on November 4. This poignant story follows Stan, George and Joe as enthusiastic pals who volunteer to join Kitchener’s new army. Their experience of life on the Western Front is a stark contrast to what was promised by the officers signing them up. Embarrassing medicals, French girls, lice, rats and shrapnel wait for them but their strong friendship and sense of humour will enable these pals to stick together through it all.

“Local theatre company Pitchy Breath bring Monsters: A Modern Frankenstein Story on November 13. On the night of his wedding, ground-breaking surgeon Victor Frankenstein’s life is changed forever when his past comes back to haunt him. As he battles to justify the decisions made as a young man, he is thrust into the spotlight as his latest medical marvel wreaks a trail of catastrophe and destruction. Celebrating 200 years of Mary Shelley’s horror classic, Monsters faithfully brings the story of Frankenstein into the 21st century.

“From the creators of Jane Eyre, The Time Machine, Dalloway, I, Elizabeth, Female Gothic and Austen’s Women comes Christmas Gothic on Friday, December 14. Come in from the cold and enter into the Christmas spirit as a dark and spectral woman tells haunting tales of the festive season, lighting a candle to the frailties of human nature and illuminating the cold and chilling depths of the bleak, wintry dark. Dyad Productions resurrects a Victorian tradition by presenting three seasonal tales of terror to scintillate the gooseflesh for dark Christmas nights.

“The festive theme continues on January 5 with A Christmas Carol, as told by Jacob Marley (deceased). Told from the perspective of Scrooge’s deceased business partner, this award-winning stage adaptation has been hailed as the definitive telling of A Christmas Carol and rated as one of the top Christmas shows in London, Edinburgh and around the UK.”

Tickets for all Hawth Studio shows are available from The Hawth box office on 01293 553636 and www.hawth.co.uk.

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